It was March, 2010, when we made the leap and had laminate flooring installed throughout our two condos. It turned out to be beautiful, and our laminate flooring is way nicer in so many ways than our old wall to wall carpeting was. However, if anyone tries to tell you that laminate flooring is "easy" to keep clean, you should know that said person hasn't got a clue. Well, to be fair, it isn't difficult -- but it is time consuming. There is a knack to it, depending on what sort of laminate you have. And one other thing, laminate (especially the dark wood tones that we installed) is not as "forgiving" as carpet can be. Every single speck of everything SHOWS on that dark wood.
My usual process, when it is time to "do" the floors is to first sweep up all the dust and crud with a good old fashioned broom and dustpan -- just like the one my grandmother would have used. And then I get out the bucket and the sponge mop, and I prepare a solution of hot water and lemon juice. If things are really yucky, I add just a slosh of PineSol. I mop like a fiend, and voila! Clean and shiny like the day they were new... It is some work.
It is the most amazing little machine. Easy to use. But it has a wonderful talent for sucking up cat hair and dust and schnipzels of stuff from the carpets and the laminate. Easy as pie. No more brooming. No more wrestling with the dustpan, which I seem to always leave at the last place I was. Grrrrrr....
Anyway. Since I seem to be on a domestic kick these days. Thought it was important to share a little laminate floor slave secret -- go buy (or beg if that's how it works in your world) a simple, inexpensive Dirt Devil upright. It will be the best gift you ever got. I promise.